Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Features
The 50 Greatest Sports Movies
We rank the very best sports films

Ah, sport. Small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts, a desperate last shot on target as the seconds tick down on the clock – or some combination of such ingredients, anyway. The sports movie is the perfect vehicle for tales of competition, triumph, desire and despair – and what could be more film friendly than that? Ahead of this summer's biggest sporting event, we took a look at the best sports films ever made...

WORDS STEPHEN CARTY, IAN FREER, HELEN O'HARA, CHRIS HEWITT, ALASTAIR PLUMB, PHIL DE SEMLYEN, JAMES WHITE, OWEN WILLIAMS

  Page 1 of 50 Next
50

National Velvet (1944)

DIRECTOR Clarence Brown
STARS Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp, Angela Lansbury, Anne Revere, Jackie Jenkins

The 1935 book by Edith Bagnold spawned this highly successful (if very different) adaptation, which charts what happens when you combine a headstrong young woman (Taylor), a former jockey (Rooney) and a spirited gelding won in a raffle. The mixture, added to a story that hits some compelling sporty plot points (both low and high) and includes a big triumphant finish, scored the movie five Oscar nominations and two wins. That has to be some consolation for what proved a very difficult shoot for its star; Taylor suffered back injuries here that troubled her for the rest of her life. It also managed to spin off both a TV series, a TV movie version and a lesser-known sequel, International Velvet, in 1978, not to mention establishing the young Elizabeth Taylor as one to watch.

QUICK POLL Should National Velvet be higher on the list?
Higher
Off the list!

The Stats
THE SPORT
Horse racing
THE PLAYER
Velvet Brown (Taylor)
DOCUMENTARY?
No.
DEFINING MOMENT
Velvet, against everyone's wishes, decides to ride Pi the horse herself in the Grand National and wins, only to collapse from the saddle with exhaustion before reaching the victors' enclosure.
KEY TACTICS
Latvian jockeys are unreliable. Do it yourself!
  Page 1 of 50 Next

50494847464544434241403938373635343332313029282726
25242322212019181716151413121110987654321

Have your say Agree with the list? Which sports movie would you add to the list? Register or login now to have your say.


Your Comments

1 Underdog film
Dodgeball certainly remains one of the classic underdog films, not just for its inspirational value, but its usual comedy, too. And perhaps some of the others could make this list too: http://www.ranker.com/list/best-movies-about-underdogs/ ranker-film Read More

Posted on Wednesday June 18, 2014, 18:51 by Imperion

2 See Also
Karate Kid, The Waterboy, The foot fist way, Hot rod, Caddy Shack, The mighty ducks, coach carter, blades of glory, mean machine, leatherheads, the ringer, nacho libre, kicking and screaming, baseketball, remember the titans, brians song, don king: only in america, cinderella man, million dollar baby, somebody up there likes me, the boxer, knuckle, bend it like beckham, fever pitch, zidane Read More

Posted on Saturday September 15, 2012, 18:42 by bnicholson50

3 RE: What the Hell!?
l largely an excuse for Chaplin to show off his legendary slapstick skills and rubbery physical abilities while poking fun at sports clichés and underdog stories, but it's still more entertaining than most of the films it skewers. ow exactly does Chaplin, in 1915, skewer films that are very very far from being made and poking fun at sports clichés that do not yet exist? Read More

Posted on Wednesday July 25, 2012, 00:42 by Evil_Bob

4 RE: Rocky - third place
BASEketball should totally be in here. Okay it's not a real sport, but it is a sport movie. And it's funny as shit wise a pretty damn solid list. (Rocky 2-4 should be included as well, but maybe that's being a bit greedy...) Read More

Posted on Tuesday July 24, 2012, 13:55 by Whistler

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Classic Feature: Empire Meets Uwe Boll
'I'm probably the most hated director in the world right now.'

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

The 100 Greatest Games Of All Time
You voted, we counted, and here they are: beat-'em-ups, shoot-'em-ups, RPGs, JRPGs, MMORPGs, RTSs, first-person shooters, platformers, sims and much more!

The Empire Podcast #124: Wesley Snipes And Terry Crews Talk Expendables 3
Plus the Empire team discuss the biggest movie news and reviews

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Battles
From smalltime scraps to epic struggles, these are the conflicts that have stunned cinema since 1989

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)